Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
'Gift cards' have been around for awhile (and their predecessor the certificate) and it's making the whole gift thing a lot easier. You still feel that you're putting some thought into (however minimal) and not just giving random money that could otherwise drift into the economic ether.
We've all been given gifts which we inwardly wonder what we did to deserve. We've all given gifts where the recipient tries hard to make us feel that they really appreciate the gift. Gift cards remove about 50% of all this nonsense. You still feel that you've made an effort to find a gift card that fits the person's interests yet you don't actually have to commit to making the choice. They can even choose not to spend it if they wish.
One big down side to gift cards is their lack of pizzazz re: presents under the tree. Putting it in a big box to trick Ross only works the first few times.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
A few ones I'm currently researching: Goowy, Protopage, IG (Google), NetVibes, My Yahoo , Start.com. Each one has its pros and cons and all of them tend to make one think - when will they start charging for this service? How (not when) will they start putting in ads to make it pay?
The nice thing about Protopage is the ability to make pages publically available - AltSch22.
Other things to check out: Jotspot , Writely, Rallypoint, FreeMind, DemoStudio, ThinkFree Office Online
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
- very boring
- lots of support from public
- no end in sight
- no one wins in a labour dispute
How do we explain to students that breaking the law is okay? In fact, how do we explain to students that sometimes laws are unjust and must be changed? Problems are solved by working out solutions, not by enforcing laws. Our government insists they have solved the problem by passing a law. I would not want to hold this up to students as an example of good problem solving.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Monday, September 05, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
Kite Runner - by Khaled Hosseini - Best novel I've read in a LONG time. Very compelling human interest with lots of depth - friendship, family, love, death, forgiveness, loyalty. The downside: I had to bring out the kleenex a couple of times.
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett - Still haven't slogged my way through this one. I'm hoping to finish it but I'm not optimistic. I'm finding it too heavy and oppressive.
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides - Unique perspective on a unique biological situation. A bit over the top at times (eg when Cal's working at the SF porn club), it's kind of fascinating at others. Sorta like that train wreck.
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown - I think this means I've now read all his novels and enjoyed every one. This one, although it has lots of cliffhanging page turning moments, didn't seem as intricate or subtle. It did, however, help me survive the drive through Idaho and Montana (see previous posting).
Ten Big Ones - Janet Evanovich - The only one of hers I've read but I understand there's lots more. Easy/fun reading - along the lines of Grafton or Reichs - casual sounding, female protaganist. Although I don't understand the whole bounty hunting thing as the Canadian system is different I guess. I also think she should do something about her web site.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
a. 12X zoom lens on my Lumix for those far off wildlife shots, also served as binoculars
b. no destination - there's something immensely satisfying about not having to GO anyplace and just enjoying where you are
c. maps - you're lost without them - best source: visitor's centres - don't buy the 4.95 ones at the garage that also charges .50 for air (although you can have free air if you ask the cashier)
d. each other - living with just your spouse for that many days can take its toll (major argument - in the grocery store over what to have for dinner - result: roasted garlic with brie on baguette and red wine - mmm!)
e. extended health insurance (see "Incident" entry below)
f. other people's wireless internet access - once again: Thanks.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Our goal this morning was to drive till we got out of the fog but it didn't happen so we stopped at Long Beach, Washington and managed to find a campsite in the sun. Tomorrow we'll either head up to the north end of the peninsula or head into Seattle.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Since we haven't received any suggestions for the rest of the trip we decided to head for Seattle and take in a few ball games. Checked the schedule and it looks like we're out of luck - the Mariners are out of town. Plan B: head to the Oregon coast and head up the Olympic Peninsula, over to Seattle and up to the Vancouver area.
For those following the saga, Ross's new apparatus:
Gratuitous shot of a moose:
Saturday, August 13, 2005
No plans from here on. Ross is supposed to see the doc on Monday if we're still in the area. Golfing's out. Any suggestions?
The details: Immediately following the aforementioned incident on Thursday night, and with Ross trying to stem the flow of blood on his finger, he had me rummage around in his golf bag for a measly bandaid. I’ll also add this may be the first road trip we’ve made without the first aid kit. Figures. The bandaid wasn’t really very effective, and since it was 9pm we wandered down to the check-in station to see if they could help. They provided a couple more bandaids to hold him over till morning.
By 2:00 we were 100 miles down the road at the Jackson, Wyoming hospital and by 5:30 he’d had surgery and he left with an even bigger apparatus (sort of a cast) that has to stay on for a month. The cut itself wasn’t too bad but he’d completely severed the tendon so the doctor had to clean it out and stitch it up. The scariest part for Ross was that, since he’d had anesthetic, I had to drive the motorhome to our campsite. I think I did a pretty good job considering I hadn’t driven anything that big since the McLeod Transfer 3 ton moving truck when I was 20.
So it looks like our trip to Yellowstone is over but we did manage to get a good impression of it. There are thousands of “geothermal features” many of which are geysers. Old Faithful is just one of the fairly predictable ones but we saw many on our trip through. At various places there are many boiling, gurgling, steaming, gushing and bubbling pools and ponds. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a volcanic crater. Here are a few small ones spouting off.
Here’s a little tip for the next time a bison and her calf decide to stand in the middle of the road and cause the traffic to back up for half a mile in either direction: just drive directly at them and lay on the horn. At least that’s what one guy in a truck did after we’d sat there for about 15 minutes. It appears that this will at least get them moving to the other side of the road. The bison are plentiful and we also saw a few elk.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Strangely enough, when we crossed the border into Montana the only contraband that was confiscated were our 2 citrus fruits, one lime and one lemon. Really put a cramp into the gin and tonic situation. However, the customs official was very apologetic about taking our fruit.
Golfed yesterday at Waterton - a good course considering it's in a National Park. Took $3 off Ross but that's only because I felt sorry for him and gave him a chance on the last two holes. We drove up to Cameron Lake and balanced the camera on some rocks for a photo. Lots of wildlife but mostly deer and elk, oh, and a few bison in the paddock. Haven't seen any bears or mountain goats yet. The deer aren't shy.
Monday, August 08, 2005
In the evening we took a boat ride into Montana on Upper Waterton Lake which spans both Canada and the US. The border is marked by a several yard wide clearcut through the mountains, visible in this photo.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
What kind of yahoo would drive through a Wal-Mart parking lot at 1am honking his horn and yelling? Come to think of it, what kind of idiot would park his motorhome in a Wal-Mart parking lot? We drove to Penticton on Wed. night and with nowhere booked (and the slim likelihood of anything being available this time of year) we decided to join the other losers in the W-M parking lot. Ross even took the opportunity to go on a shopping extravaganza.
Slow round of golf in Castlegar, our first clue should have been the fact that we were right behind 16 guys on a stag! Fortunately we made it to our dinner reservation at our favourite Castlegar restaurant Gabriel's. As usual, Ross spent time looking for his balls on the course.
On Friday we golfed Kokanee Springs where I managed to take $22 off Ross - beat him gross too. He hasn't paid up yet - could the humiliation have been too much for him?
Last night we stayed in Sparwood which we think must be the most easterly community in BC. It also has the 'world's largest truck'.
We also stopped in Frank, Alberta, the scene of the famous slide in 1903 which brought down several million ton of rock onto the town, killing many who lived there.
Today we are in Waterton Lakes National Park in the spectacular Rockies of Alberta. The campground has wireless for $10 a day but when I fired up the laptop, lo and behold, there's another wireless somewhere in the area. Thanks, fellow camper, whoever you are.
We have a tee time for tomorrow at the Waterton course, then on Tuesday we'll try to make it out of the country, towards Montana.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Marj argues her 'one bounce through the hole' shot with course designer Vincent, to no avail. "If it went through the hole, it had to go through the air. Where do the rules say it has to be on the fly?"
Ross graciously accepts the coveted trophy from participant Gerry. In his acceptance speech he thanked his wife for all her encouragement. His name will be engraved along with all the prestigious winners of the past. The ladies trophy was thankfully not presented.
A feature of this year's event was the specialty breakfasts, including the birdie, par and here, part of the bogey breakfast, Martin samples the traditional cinnamon buns. Little did we know he thought (or imagined) they were all for him.
See you all next year.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Take a sightseeing tour. Then do the download.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Then there's all the fun to be had at Google Sightseeing and Tracking Florida Sexual Predators.
Nonetheless, stuck on Hwy 1 outside of Clearbrook, trying to get to Langley, traffic not moving, cellphone in hand. One call to Scott and he was able to direct us around the jam and right onto the Fraser Hwy in no time using Google maps. Thanks Scott and thanks Google.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Luckily I've googled some ways to manage blog guilt. And since I've already got this far I've already completed #5. Now I feel guiltier. Oh well.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Sunday, May 01, 2005
There are lots of web sites on STV but here's an interesting way of describing the actual process by using a situation of selecting a committee at a boys' school.
STV is not perfect. Implementing it will not be easy. Predicting how government will operate under the system is impossible. But keeping a bad system in place just because we've always had it is not logical. Status-quo is just too easy and I think it's an uphill battle for change.
Please note that despite the announcement from Elections BC this commentary in no way constitutes advertising. It is personal opinion only (duh-its a blog!).
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Reasons to use powerpoint:
1. it gives people something to look at when your presentation gets boring
2. when you forget what you were going to say you can just read from the screen
3. instead of having to 'deliver' a joke (a presentation requirement) you can just put up a funny cartoon and not have to worry about 'timing'
4. you can add video clips that have nothing to do with your presentation but are very entertaining and take up time (fraud or real musician? my conclusion? The music doesn't match the balls-particularly on the repeated tones)
5. you can spend hours of work time creating it and adding flying text and colourful backgrounds and whooshing sounds and actually get paid for it
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Thursday, April 07, 2005
I was very excited to receive the 2nd invitation to Mark and Deb's wedding! We like Mark a lot and never expected to be invited to his wedding but are thrilled about and consider it an honour to be invited. Mark is Scott's best friend and we have known him since they were in Grade 9. Mark spent a lot of time here over the years and we consider him our 3rd son. Here's some marriage advice from pastor Mark (at Randy's wedding): love is more about making a choice than about a feeling.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Monday, March 28, 2005
1. great weather (it's always better when your expectations are low)
2. the ride on the side of the cable car
3. crab and shrimp sandwiches
4. laughing my head off at the Green Room comedy club - Jamie Lissow
5. Top of the Mark martinis
6. friendly people!
7. my easy going travelling companions - Sue, Rosie, Josie - thanks
Not so great things about San Francisco
1. the food - too much good stuff
2. Bay cruise around Alcatraz - recorded commentary :-(
3. long wait for the cable car
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Today Ross and I bottled about 200 bottles of wine. It took almost 3 hours - 7 batches! Now you'd think that would be enough to last quite a while but 10 cases are for his niece's wedding in October.
OAN - my suitcase is packed, my passport is ready, the skies are looking clear. I just printed off a brochure for free walking tours so I think we're set. See you in San Francisco.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Friday, March 18, 2005
Any suggestions about what exciting things to do in SF?
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
????!! Does this mean I can or can't? One computer at a time or just one ever? And who are "we"? "How are we feeling today?" We are feeling like Microsoft has too much of my $$ already.Under the Windows XP End-User License Agreement (EULA), we can install one licensed copy of Windows XP on one computer. As long as we follow this license agreement, Windows XP can be reinstalled and reactivated without any limitation. Please perform online activation.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Ah memories-I think that 1993 was the year I did my first school project using the internet. It involved testing the pH level of the rain in our area and comparing it to other classes somewhere in the US. It was the middle of winter so all we could do was melt snow and test that using those little strips. Do you know how long it takes to melt a bucket of snow? I didn't either.
At that time probably 2 students in my Grade 5/6 class had 'heard of the internet'. We were using Pine or Elm mail to communicate. So primitive.
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